President Donald Trump isn’t going down without a fight — and his latest move has grabbed the attention of Joe Biden’s campaign.
The Horn News reported on Tuesday that Trump was considering appointing a special counsel to investigate reports of fraud in the 2020 election.
Now, he’s taking it one step further.
[STUDY] Improve Breathing by 57%? [sponsored]
Trump may appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic leader. That would mean if Biden takes office in January, he would be largely powerless to stop investigators.
Trump is considering pushing to have the special counsel appointed to advance a federal tax investigation. According to reports, Hunter failed to report hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of dollars from lobbyist work to the IRS.
Trump — angry that out-going Attorney General William Barr didn’t tell the public about the two-year investigation into Hunter Biden — has reportedly consulted on the matter with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and outside allies.
Barr on Monday evening announced he will resign effective next week, revealing his plans about a week after Hunter Biden publicly disclosed that he was under investigation related to his finances. It is generally Justice Department policy not to disclose investigations that are in progress, though the subjects of those investigations can.
Rosen, the deputy attorney general, will step into the Justice Department’s top job in an acting role. A longtime litigator, he has served as Barr’s top deputy since May 2019 but largely shies away from the spotlight. He said in a statement Tuesday he was “honored” to serve and “will continue to focus on the implementation of the Department’s key priorities.”
Trump is still weighing his options, considering whether to ask Rosen to make the special counsel appointment or, if needed, to replace the acting attorney general with someone more likely to carry out his wishes. He has even asked his team of lawyers, including personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, to look into whether the president has the power to appoint a special counsel himself.
Sponsored: Senior “Tongue Trick” Unlocks Perfect Sleep
A key question will be whether Rosen is willing to open the investigation in what the media says is the waning weeks of the Trump administration
Believing that a special counsel probe could wound a Biden administration before it even begins, Trump aides have urged the president to push for one. No firm decision has been made.
Trump announced that Barr would be stepping down from his position on Dec. 23, amid lingering tension between the president and the attorney general over the Hunter Biden investigation. Trump was angry for days after learning that Barr knew of the Hunter Biden tax investigation before the election but did not disclose it.
He also was unhappy that Barr said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered widespread election fraud that would have affected the results of the election.
For much of his tenure, Barr was perceived as one of the president’s most loyal Cabinet members, especially after he framed the results of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in a manner favorable to Trump. The special counsel found zero evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but notably did not completely exonerate the president of obstruction of justice charges.
It was Barr who first appointed a U.S. attorney to review the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then sought to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Ivy League M.D. reveals how-to slash your risk of memory loss 65% [Sponsored]
As Barr exits, the biggest thing by far hanging over the Trump Justice Department is its investigation into Hunter Biden, which involves multiple U.S. attorney offices and FBI field offices. Appointing a special counsel could prove to be complicated, requiring consolidating different investigatory angles and bringing in someone new to run the probe and get up to speed.
Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty, or conflict of interest — reasons that must be spelled out in writing. Appointing a special counsel for the Hunter Biden probe would also signal a more prolonged and complicated investigation than the current investigation, which is largely centered on his taxes.
A subpoena seeking documents from the younger Biden asked for information related to more than two dozen entities, including Ukraine gas company Burisma.
Either way, the would-be probe is complicating Joe Biden’s would-be pick for attorney general. Any nominee for attorney general is likely to face a mountain of questions at a confirmation hearing about how they would oversee the probe.
It could be that Rosen is left in the position for a few weeks, should Biden be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Sponsored: Cellphones and vision
If Trump doesn’t fire him, that is.
The Associated Press contributed to this article